Thursday 22 October 2015

Potential impact of virtual reality on gamers' wellbeing to be discussed at conference

Gaming technologies will be discussed at a conference organised by NTU
Virtual reality devices will soon be available for unregulated use in the home

The potential impact of immersive gaming technologies on the wellbeing of gamers will be discussed at a conference organised by NTU.

Dr Angelica Ortiz De Gortari, a cyber-psychologist at the University, will talk about the challenges and opportunities that highly-realistic virtual reality devices may have for gamers as part of the Interactive Technologies and Games (ITAG) conference, which takes place on 22-23 October.

Virtual reality devices and technologies will be available for unregulated use in the home for the first time from next year.

Over the last five years, Dr Gortari has carried out several studies into the concept 'game transfer phenomena' (GTP) on conventional consoles and devices. GTP is a common occurrence responsible for gamers experiencing altered perceptions and involuntary thoughts and behaviours after playing.

Gamers have reported seeing images, hearing sounds, feeling tactile sensations, perceiving distorted environments, experiencing involuntary movements of fingers and mixing up events in the game with those in the physical world.

Dr Ortiz De Gortari, who is based in the University's School of Social Sciences, said: "The imminent arrival of more highly-immersive technologies for entertainment brings exciting possibilities for developers and users, but also raises important questions regarding the impact on wellbeing.

"We want to initiate a discussion about the challenges and opportunities which the use of highly-immersive gaming technologies may posit. Understanding the possible post-effects of virtual reality and immersive technologies – as well as being ahead of time – is important for a variety of reasons."

The conference is part of the annual GameCity festival (22-31 October) which is celebrating its tenth anniversary with its longest, biggest and most exciting event to date.


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